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What Is Science? From Feynman to Sagan to Asimov to Curie, an Omnibus of Definitions

What Is Science? From Feynman to Sagan to Asimov to Curie, an Omnibus of Definitions
by Maria Popova “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious — the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.” “We live in a society absolutely dependent on science and technology,” Carl Sagan famously quipped in 1994, “and yet have cleverly arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. That’s a clear prescription for disaster.” Little seems to have changed in the nearly two decades since, and although the government is now actively encouraging “citizen science,” for many “citizens” the understanding of — let alone any agreement about — what science is and does remains meager. So, what exactly is science, what does it aspire to do, and why should we the people care? Stuart Firestein writes in the excellent Ignorance: How It Drives Science: Real science is a revision in progress, always. Science does not purvey absolute truth, science is a mechanism. Carl Sagan echoed the same sentiment when he remarked: Later:

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Nature of Science The Nature of science (NOS) is an overarching theme in the biology, chemistry and physics courses. This section, titled “Nature of science”, is in the biology, chemistry and physics guides to support teachers in their understanding of what is meant by the nature of science. The “Nature of science” section of the guide provides a comprehensive account of the nature of science in the 21st century. It will not be possible to cover in this document all the themes in detail in the three science courses, either for teaching or assessment. It has a paragraph structure (1.1, 1.2, etc) to link the significant points made to the syllabus references on the NOS. Einstein for Everyone Einstein for Everyone Nullarbor Press 2007revisions 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Copyright 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 John D. Norton Published by Nullarbor Press, 500 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260 with offices in Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 15222 All Rights Reserved

...But What If There Was More Time? : Starts With A Bang “Well you run and you run to catch up with the Sun but it’s sinking,racing around to come up behind you again.The Sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,shorter of breath and one day closer to death.” -Pink Floyd For the last four-and-a-half billion years, the Earth has spun on its axis, orbiting its parent star: our Sun. Today, our home planet looks something like this. Image credit: Reto Stöckli, Nazmi El Saleous, and Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, NASA GSFC. Looking at our world, even from outer space, you see some very familiar features that we think of as essential parts of our world.

The 35 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools Chosen By You 100 Web 2.0 Tools Every Teacher Should Know About 44.24K Views 0 Likes We're always trying to figure out the best tools for teachers, trends in the education technology industry, and generally doing our darnedest to bring you new and exciting ways to enhance the classroom. But I wanted t... 20 Free and Fun Ways To Curate Web Content Co-Vary Or Die I've just come across a striking example of why correcting for confounding variables in statistics might not sound exciting, but can be a matter of life and death. Imagine you're a doctor or researcher working with HIV/AIDS. You're taking a sample of blood from a HIV+ patient when you slip and, to your horror, jab yourself with a bloodied needle. What do you do? In a 1997 study, researchers Cardo et al studied hundreds of cases of this kind of accidental HIV exposure ("needlestick injuries") in medical and scientific workers. They wanted to find differences between the people who contracted the virus, and the ones who didn't.

The Island of Knowledge: How to Live with Mystery in a Culture Obsessed with Certainty and Definitive Answers by Maria Popova “We strive toward knowledge, always more knowledge, but must understand that we are, and will remain, surrounded by mystery.” “Our human definition of ‘everything’ gives us, at best, a tiny penlight to help us with our wanderings,” Benjamen Walker offered in an episode of his excellent Theory of Everything podcast as we shared a conversation about illumination and the art of discovery.

Download Graphic Images from the Hillis/Bull Lab Return to "Download Files" Page You are welcome to download the following graphic image of the Tree of Life for non-commercial, educational purposes: Tree of Life (~3,000 species, based on rRNA sequences) (pdf, 368 KB) (see Science, 2003, 300:1692-1697) This file can be printed as a wall poster. Printing at least 54" wide is recommended. How Ignorance Fuels Science and the Evolution of Knowledge by Maria Popova “We judge the value of science by the ignorance it defines.” “Science is always wrong,” George Bernard Shaw famously proclaimed in a toast to Albert Einstein.

The Magazine - The Siege of Academe September/October 2012The Siege of Academe For years, Silicon Valley has failed to breach the walls of higher education with disruptive technology. But the tide of battle is changing. A report from the front lines. By Kevin Carey